First round, first win for Bladen

Spradlin edges Padovini in Summer Youth League finale

* Little Piggy Flex Tournament set for Aug. 19
* Summer Flex League Week 5 is July 21-24 at Mile Lane DGC

FROSTBURG — So much for first-time jitters.

Mariam Bladen tossed her MVP Envy putter with a righthand sidearm from the No. 1 tee pad and never looked back. The 12-year-old Frostburg resident earned a Summer Youth League Week 5 victory on Tuesday night at Hoffman Park Disc Golf Course in Frostburg.

Mariam Bladen

It was the Mount Savage Middle School student’s first round of disc golf; Bladen had participated in the Allegany County Disc Golf Club’s CTP and putting contests a month earlier at a food truck festival in Cresaptown. A week later, Bladen participated in the club’s new player clinic. Before Tuesday night, however, she had never played a scored round or visited a disc golf course with baskets.

On Tuesday, she put theory and practice to good use. She threw a mix of forehands and backhands, and sometimes struggled with putting. She might have hit a few of the trees that cover much of the first public disc golf course in Allegany County.

Bladen’s best mark of a bogey occurred eight times (44.4 percent) en route to finishing the 18-hole layout with 92 strokes. Norah Corwell, 8, of Fort Ashby, W.Va., finished second with a 102. It was Corwell’s second time throwing 18 holes during a club round. Corwell shaved 12 strokes from her Week 2 performance.

Lily Lick, 9, of Cumberland, rounded out the three-player field in the Girls’ Division with a 105. The club’s September 2022 Player of the Month was only one stroke off her Week 2 effort.

All three young competitors fared better over the back nine than the front nine:

Bladen: 49 – 43 — 92
Corwell: 52 – 50 — 102
Lick: 57 – 48 — 105

Boys’ Division

Josiah Spradlin would be the first to offer an explanation for today’s Summer Youth League round: It was a bad day on the course for him.

Even so, the 13-year-old Frostburg resident and incoming eighth grader at Mount Savage Middle School managed to eke out a three-stroke win over schoolmate Evan Padovini, 11, of Frostburg.

Spradlin threw even splits of 32 and 32 over the front half and back half, respectively, to finish with a 10 over par 64. Padovini, the club’s June Player of the Month, ran into trouble and tallied 11 strokes on two baskets on the back nine — Nos. 15 and 16 — to finish with a 67 (including a 35 after the midway point). Liam Hutter, 12, of Frostburg, earned a podium finish with a 74. Hutter has taken off 13 strokes from the 87 he posted on June 30 during the club’s Summer Flex League round at Hoffman Park DGC.

John Youngblood, 13, of Frostburg, threw four strokes better on the back nine (51 and 47) to finish with a 98. The score is one stroke better than his previous best of 99, set in Week 2 of the club’s Summer Flex League.

Wyatt Twigg, 8, of Cresaptown, rounded out the five-player field with a 65 over nine baskets.

The field featured five players from Mount Savage Middle School, where the club facilitated six days of physical education classes in May. Students were told that if they completed a round with the club on or before Aug. 15, they would receive a free disc. So far, eight student-athletes have taken advantage of the offer.

Adult Division

With three baskets remaining, Brian Padovini had a slim, one-stroke lead over Kevin Spradlin. On this night, it didn’t last.

Padovini, 42, of Frostburg, threw for par on the final three holes while Spradlin, 44, of Frostburg, managed birdies on each. The three-stroke swing handed Spradlin, 44, of Frostburg, the victory with a four under par 50. Padovini, 42, of Frostburg, finished with a 52. Sam Lick, of Cumberland, birdied the final two holes to close the gap and finished third with a 55. Newcomer Aaron Nesselroade, 28, of Rawlings, rounded out the four-player field with a 78. It was the first time on a disc golf course for Nesselroade, a colleague of Padovini’s.

Spradlin managed to throw negative splits — 26 on the front nine and 24 on the back nine — during the third bogey-free round of his disc golf life, which hits the two-year mark next month. He finished with four birdies.

Padovini tossed five birdies — including an impressive two-stroke finish on No. 4 the second time around. Lick tallied four birdies, including the not-so-easy 15-foot putt on No. 6.

Nesselroade, meanwhile, threw for par three times and managed bogeys eight other times in his first round.

Spradlin led by a stroke over Padovini at the midway point, 26 to 27. Lick was third (27) and Nesselroade fourth (42). All four players threw negative splits: Spradlin (24), Padovini (25), Lick (26) and Nesselroade (36).

Mariam Bladen, right, throws her first sidearm drive from the No. 1 tee. At the end of her first round of disc golf, the 12-year-old logged her first win.


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